Sound Exchange

I’ve shared the ongoing work of the Aural Textiles project here before, and also posted links to the project blog where we’ve documented some of our collaborative process. I am sad that – after nearly two years! – this collaboration with jewellery designer Jen Stewart has now come to an end, but I am beyond delighted with the work we have created together.

This week it is on display at the Inspace Gallery in Edinburgh alongside the fruits of all the other collaborations, and since very few of us will likely have the chance to visit it there, I thought I’d share a few alternative ways to see what we’ve been up to.

The work that Jen and I created is called Ceremonies of Safety. It is a wardrobe of garments for imagined rituals of protection. We took inspiration from the protection we attribute to physical rituals of movement, the garments we dress in and sense of confidence and intention in how we present ourselves outwardly.

Jen and I are both very much drawn to water as inspiration for our work, but being in lockdown we were very limited in what sounds we could gather. So we turned to the sounds close at hand and, following through on the theme of protection, invited members of the project team to send us recordings of themselves washing their hands.

We worked with layers of sound and graphics, and with material layers as well. Although brass and yarn could hardly be more different, we found many points of contact between our interests and practices: graphically-led structure, rhythm, experimentation, positive and negative contrast.

Our final wardrobe is in three parts: a dress, expressing weave-inspired-by-brass; a set of jewellery including a neckpiece, earrings and bracelet, expressing brass-inspired-by-weave; and a breastplate, which brings the brass and weave together in a single piece.

Here’s the shopfront display, with all the work and some documentary footage. If you are quick, you may spot some video of a video of yours truly. It makes me feel very Inception.

And finally, you can see more video and lots of information about all the collaborations over on the project website exhibition page.

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